Monday, May 16, 2005

Prepone....An Indian Word?

A few days back, a roommate of mine talked about how 'prepone' is not an english word. I have used this word all my life as an opposite of postpone. My roommate's claim was interesting enough for me to google the word 'prepone'. And yes, not once on the first few pages did I find, a dictionary.com meaning of prepone. All I found is discussion forums, blogs and other articles which talked about that word.

Here's what an entry in the Word Fugitives said about it ..

The word 'prepone' is found in The New Oxford Dictionary of English, published 1998. It is listed as being Indian (from India) and is defined as: to bring forward to an earlier date or time. Example given: The publication date has been preponed from July to June.

People in the U.S. use words like 'advance' and 'move up' to explain the opposite of postpone. Languagehat.com has a complete and comprehensive discussion forum on this word, and it is exciting to see what the world thinks of this word.

It is clear that the word prepone had its origins in India. And I feel good about it. Because the word prepone ... as someone at languagehat.com calls it.....is unquestionably useful.

2 comments:

Rakesh Pai said...

Interesting post, Vikram, though I'm surprised that you didn't know the "Indianness" of this word before.

There are may such words of Indian origin that have found their way into the dictionary, some that are "adapted" due their unique meanings (like juggernaut), some due to the lack of (naming for) some concepts (like musth), and some others most likely due to its pop-factor (like ganja

I have always been interested in the etymology of words, especially if they are India-related. I didn't know you were!

Keep up the great posts!

Saurabh Khanwalkar said...

dude..Nice post!
check this out
http://www.vsubhash.com/desienglish.asp